Whether you’ve worked in a permanent position for the past several years or are just getting started as a temp through a healthcare temp agency, nursing mistakes, unfortunately, are bound to happen on the job. However, there are steps you can take to prevent common mistakes and prepare yourself for incidents that may occur during a shift. Here are three of the most common nursing mistakes and how to avoid them.
Administering medication to patients with different conditions has the potential to result in a medication error. Whether you hand out the wrong medication to a patient or dispense an incorrect dosage, a medication error can be potentially fatal to a patient. Regardless of whether you’re a new or experienced nurse, medication administration errors make up some of the most common mistakes among nurses. You can be proactive about preventing medication errors by doing the following:
- Implement patient-specific identifiers to ensure each patient is correctly matched to their medication.
- Verify all allergies of patients before administering medication.
- Make sure you’re informed about how the medication is treating a patient’s specific diagnosis.
- Make sure patient’s medication list is always updated.
Charting or Documentation Errors
Not only does administering medication require careful attention, but charting and documenting medication is equally important. Any time a patient’s medication dosage changes or a negative reaction to a medication occurs, it must be documented carefully in patients’ charts. Being aware of the documentation process is critical to avoiding errors and most importantly, avoiding lawsuits. When charting patient information, remember these tips:
- Record all drugs given to the patients
- Record any discontinued medications
- Record any changes in patients’ conditions
- Record any doctors’ orders given regarding patients’ care
All patients, especially those with extended hospital stays, are susceptible to infections. Nurses must minimize patients’ risk of infection by ensuring proper sanitary protocols are in place. To help reduce patient infections, always adhere to the highest degree of patient care standards; this includes properly facilitating aseptic techniques; cleaning and disinfection; and implementing strategies for infection prevention.
The best way to prevent common nursing mistakes is to take all precautions learned in your formal trainings and put them to use during your shifts. The more mindful you are about proper patient care practices, the less likely you’ll be to make errors on the job.
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